Middle East Eye reports: A video circulating on social media purportedly shows a renowned Iraqi Shia militiaman standing next to a charred body. The body is hung upside as the militiaman raises his sword and cuts a slice from the corpse of the unidentified dead man. The video has sparked wide debate in Iraq.
The militiaman – who goes by the nom de guerre of Abu Azrael (or father of the Angel of Death) but whose real name is Ayoub Faleh Hassan al-Rubaie – claimed in the video that the body belonged to a dead fighter sent by the Islamic State group (IS) to the city of Baiji.
“Those [fighters] were sent by the supposed elites of IS [who boast of their strength] but end up like shawarma,” Abu Azrael said as he cut part of the dead man’s leg.
The video, which could not be independently verified, was shared by fans and critics of Abu Azrael alike.
Towards the end of the video, members of the anti-IS Shia militia – known as the Popular Mobilisation Units (PMU) – chanted “Where will you run to? [We will chase you until you are ground and become nothing] but flour.”
The chant, which Abu Azrael said in a separate video that it is derived from Shia religious heritage, has come to serve as a signature battle cry of the PMU against IS.
Abu Azrael has become well-known after he was portrayed by his supporters as a Rambo-like figure in the fight against IS. [Continue reading…]